Tide vs ANNA: comparing business bank accounts

Tide vs ANNA: comparing business bank accounts

So, you’ve taken the plunge and decided to work for yourself? Along with writing a business plan, deciding on your company name, and determining your marketing strategy – a business bank account may not feature at the top of your list. However, if you’re hoping to secure investment for expansion at any point, then it’s a good idea to open a business bank account from the very beginning.

In the latest of our articles comparing Tide with other challenger banks, we’ll give you the lowdown on how Tide and ANNA business bank accounts compare.

We’ve done the research, dug around the FAQs, and organised our findings into some structured lists and tables. So strap in as we pit these two challengers against one another. 

Table of contents

What are the challenger banks?

Choosing a bank was once a very simple choice between a handful of major high street banks. They all offered much the same service and you, the consumer, had few options to get specialist services that suited your needs.

In 2008, the financial crisis (AKA the credit crunch) pushed governments around the world to reconsider the entire banking system. In addition to new legislation, governments decided that having a small number of massive banks created an unacceptable risk. To counter this, the rules around starting and running banks and financial services were updated to make the market more inviting to startups and innovators.

These new banks are considered to be challengers to the big established players. And they are characterised by their fast-moving innovations, modern features, digital brilliance, and for focusing on specific consumer needs (in opposition to most high-street banks which typically produce mass-market products).

Tide vs ANNA: the similarities

At first glance, Tide and ANNA seem very similar: they both provide business bank accounts with integrated invoicing and accounting features. And as we go through the details, you’ll see that the similarities continue.

There are also some key differences that may help you make a decision if you’re trying to decide which modern mobile banking solution is best for your business.

So much more than a business bank account
At Tide, we support those who work for themselves. When you become a Tide member, you don’t just get a business account, but access to our business finance platform saving you time with your admin. You can register your company for free and get a virtual office address all in one go. And, once you’re up and running, you can easily send invoices, track your expenses, add expense cards for your team and let Cashflow Insights help you stay cash flow positive.
Say goodbye to spreadsheets and get started with a free business bank account today 🚀

Tide vs ANNA: key differences

FSCS protection

Tide offers a bank account through ClearBank. This is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), so deposits up to £85,000 are guaranteed and protected. 

ANNA offers an e-money account through PayrNet Ltd. This is covered by the Financial Conduct Authority, but does not offer the same level of protection as the FSCS. While your money would be afforded some protection, you would be likely to receive most of your funds once fees and other charges had been deducted.

Mobile vs online access

Being able to manage your money from your phone can save you time, improve your cash flow, and help you build your business. And Tide and ANNA both focus on making powerful mobile apps that help you take control from wherever you are.

Tide also gives you an online portal, which may be preferable if you find some tasks fiddly or time-consuming to complete on a mobile device.

Accounting integrations

ANNA currently offers integration with Xero. 

Tide offers integrations with Xero, Sage, FreeAgent, KashFlow, Quickbooks, Crunch, ClearBooks and Reckon.

Cash deposits ✔️
Freeze/unfreeze card in the app ✔️ ✔️
Extra cards for employees ✔️
£5 month on Free plan or free
with £9.99/ + VAT month plan)
(with the £9.90/month plan)
Accountancy software integration ✔️ ✔️ Xero only
FSCS protected ✔️
For accounts provided by ClearBank
Information correct as of November 2021

Tide vs ANNA: how much do accounts cost?

Tide offers a free business bank account with integrated accounting and invoicing features. You can choose to upgrade to a paid Tide plan if you want additional features (including priority support, member perks, and access to a legal helpline) and a number of free transfers per month.

ANNA also offers a free business bank account with integrated invoicing and accounting features, although the free version is limited to £500 income per month, or a balance of £5000. If you exceed those limits then you will move to the first paid plan, which costs £4.90 per month.

Monthly account charge Free Free
Incoming funds limit Unlimited £500
(monthly fees apply when
incoming funds exceed this)
Fee for cash deposits £2.50 for deposits up to £500
or 0.5% of cash amount for deposits over £500
(at Post Offices)
3% (at PayPoints)
Deposits not accepted
Fee for payments in or out 20p each 2 free per month
Information correct as of November 2021

Tide vs ANNA: add-ons and paid plans

ANNA plans

While ANNA does not offer additional packages or services, there is a sliding scale of charges depending on your level of usage. The tiers range from completely free to £19.90 per month, with the top tier allowing a maximum balance of £500,000 and incoming funds up to £100,000 per month.

Other variables across the pricing tiers include:

  • Free money transfers
  • Cards for your team
  • Multiple user access

Tide plans

While the starter Tide account is free to open with no monthly fees, there are upgrade options available if your business needs additional features. 

Tide paid account plans

You can upgrade to Tide Plus (£9.99 per month + VAT) to get 20 free transfers per month, access to a legal helpline, and telephone support. You can also get a free company expense card to help you and your colleagues pay for expenses efficiently.

The Tide Cashback plan (£49.99 per month + VAT) is best suited to established businesses that can benefit from 0.5% cashback on all card purchases. With this plan you also get a dedicated account manager, 150 free transfers per month, and 3 Company Expense Cards for your team. Cashback is earned on all card spending, including purchases on Company Expense cards.

Tide Invoice Assistant bundle

For £10 + VAT per month you can also choose the Tide Invoice Assistant, which is designed to simplify your invoicing processes and improve your cash flow. Key features of the Invoice Assistant are the automatic matching of payments to invoices, and automatic reminders. You also get 2 free Direct Debits, powered by GoCardless. This means you can set up a Direct Debit facility with your client to ensure you get paid on time, while also reducing your client’s administrative burden.

Invoicing remains free for all Tide users – the Invoice Assistant is an additional bundle for any business that wants to improve cash flow and simplify their bookkeeping. 

Company formation service

Tide also offers a company formation service. This means that, should you choose to become a limited company, rather than a sole trader, you can complete the registration process through Tide at the same time as creating your Tide account. Tide even pay the £12 registration fee on your behalf. Tide has an online company name check tool so you can search to see if your preferred company name is available before registering your business.

Not sure if you should go limited or operate as a sole trader? Read: Limited company or sole trader? What to consider before you choose

Tide vs ANNA: how easy is it to pay in cash or cheques?

Tide accepts cash deposits through the Post Office and at PayPoints. Post Office deposits are charged at £2.50 for deposits up to £500 or 0.5% of the cash amount for deposits over £500. PayPoints charge 3% of the deposited sum. Tide does not accept cheques.

ANNA does not accept cash or cheque deposits. 

Tide vs ANNA: how easy is it to open a business bank account?

Apply through the app ✔️ ✔️
Quick application ✔️ ✔️
Credit check
Card delivery fee Free Free
Card delivery timescale 2-5 working days 2-5 working days
information correct as of November 2021

Tide account sign-up

Creating your Tide account takes minutes, and you can do it all from the app. Simply download the Tide app from the App Store or the Google Play Store. You will need a form of identification, such as passport, driving licence or European National ID card. You may also need to provide evidence that your business is active, such as HMRC registration or signed contracts.

The Tide pledge is that 53% of new business customers open their accounts in under 10 minutes, 70% in under 60 minutes, and 81% within 48 hours. You won’t be subjected to a hard credit check and your accompanying bank card will be supplied for free. If you lose your card, there’s no fee to order a replacement.

You can also create and use your Tide account completely online, if you prefer the online interface to a mobile app.

ANNA account sign-up

The ANNA account set-up process is equally quick and easy. You can sign up online or through the ANNA app.

New cards are typically received within 5 days or so. Although ANNA also issues a virtual card and gives you a business bank account number and sort code within 3 minutes – so you can start receiving and making payments immediately.

Tide vs ANNA: using your card in the UK and abroad

Foreign transaction charges Free 0.5%
Foreign ATM withdrawal charges £1 each 0.5%
information correct as of November 2021

You can use both Tide and ANNA cards abroad. 

With Tide, you get free foreign transactions, and pay a simple flat fee (£1) when you use a cash machine abroad. Charges are processed at the Mastercard foreign exchange rate, without any additional charges applied. . Unlike many other digital or High Street banks, there is no charge if you withdraw over a certain limit. However, you will still be charged £1 to withdraw cash at an ATM (the same charge as applies in the UK).

With ANNA you pay a 0.5% fee on both foreign transactions and withdrawals.

Tide vs ANNA: the all-important customer support

Customer service via the app Live chat Live chat
Customer service via telephone ✔️
Online knowledge base ✔️ ✔️
information correct as of November 2021

Free Tide account holders can contact Member Support through the app, or send an email to request a call back during working hours. There is a dedicated line for reporting lost or stolen cards. Tide Plus and Cashback members can access direct telephone support, as well as a 24/7 legal helpline to support with tax or contractual questions.

ANNA offers 24/7 support by email, or through live chat within the app.

Tide vs ANNA: wrapping up

As you can see, Tide and ANNA both offer next-generation business bank accounts that seamlessly integrate money and accounting.

Both offer powerful mobile apps that enable you to check your finances and send invoices before you leave the job site.

Both help you calculate your VAT returns and simplify the bookkeeping process. 

However, only Tide offers FSCS protection, the convenience of an online portal, and the ability to deposit cash. 

Come and be part of the Tide community 👷‍♀️👨‍🍳

Over 350,000 fellow business owners, just like you, already love our features:

✔️ Register your business for FREE

✔️ Open a FREE business bank account with no monthly fees

✔️ Create and send customised invoices for FREE

✔️ Predict your cash flow and improve your credit score

✔️ Unlock exclusive member perks and discounts

✔️ Get 24/7 legal support with Tide Plus and Cashback

Open your business bank account with Tide today 🚀

Sources used for this article

  1. Wikipedia – Challenger Banks
  2. Wikipedia – Financial Crash 2008
  3. ANNA website https://anna.money/
  4. ANNA support https://help.anna.money/en/

Caroline Wire

Caroline Wire

Senior Small Business Copywriter

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